My mom had a sinus infection and I had finally convinced her to go to bed and leave the housework to me, my dad was at work, and my five youngest siblings -all six and under -seemed to be bent on trying my patience. I had a list of things I wanted to do as long as my arm -I had two tests to study for, lesson plans to write up, papers to grade, a novel to edit. I promised myself I’d get some work done once they settled down for nap, but, by the time they did, my mind felt like it was made of mush.
And I was almost guilty for being tired.
I mean, I’m living the life I’ve chosen: I love my little brothers and sister -their smiles brighten up my day. I love the responsibility of cooking, cleaning, and laundry -no, I’m not Snow White, but I like the feeling of a well-ordered home. I love being an English tutor, and I love getting my English B.A. via distance learning.
I love being a home-girl.
But because the way I’ve ordered my life is counter-intuitive to most Americans, those days when I’m tired, overwhelmed, or even a tad bit frustrated seem almost to condemn me.
Why is that so?
Why, if I was pulling a full course load at Columbia while simultaneously interning for a renowned publishing house would it be all right for me to come home at night bushed and proud of it… but when my brothers test my patience, it’s seen as proof that I should have been doing something else with my life?
Why, if I were a renowned fiction-writer headed to a book signing while squawking to my publicist on my cellphone and trying to hear my latest interview on the radio would I feel a bit hectic… but when I’m a little frazzled with the multi-tasking with household chores do I feel the need to hide it under a fake smile?
Why do we feel that it’s okay to be tired only if we’re dressed in a power suit?
I don’t anymore, actually. When I get tired, when I get discouraged, when I get overwhelmed… I admit it. I try not to wallow in a pity puddle, but I also try not to be a Stepford Wife in training. I go to the foot of the cross and I heave a sigh of relief:
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. ~2 Thessalonians 3:13
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. ~1 Corinthians 15:58
When we’re following the paths that the Lord has set before us… we’ll get tired. We’ll get frustrated. We’ll grow weary. If it were not so, Paul would not have warned us at least three times in the Scriptures to remember that our labor is not in vain -
There would be no need to be warned to remember if we weren’t so prone to forget.
All women grow weary -in every sphere of society, whether we spend our days shaking hands with diplomats or scrubbing floors, whether we get to talk to famous TV show hosts or try to decipher the slurs of a toddler… the fact that we grow weary while following the Lord’s will for our lives at home is not indicative of the fact that we’ve made the wrong choice, or are not living our dreams… it’s indicative of the fact that we’re human, and need to walk whatever paths that lie before us in Christ’s strength, and not our own:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10